LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday directed the federal and the provincial governments to pay compensation within one month to the people who suffered losses during religious parties’ violent protests following acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.
A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case at the Lahore registry regarding losses and damage to life and property during a three-day long countrywide protest by religious parties led by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after the apex court had acquitted Aasia Bibi.
The law officers of the provinces and officials of the Punjab home department appeared before the bench.
A Punjab law officer told the bench that the government assessed the value of the losses up to Rs262 million.
He said the provincial cabinet had approved a plan for the payment of the compensation to the affected people and the matter had been forwarded to the chief minister for the release of the funds.
Chief Justice Nisar regretted that had the court not taken notice of the people’s sufferings, the government would have been still making its plans. He said over two and a half months passed but a complete plan regarding compensation packages had not been submitted.
A section officer of the home department said the compensation would be paid to people within a month.
The bench disposed of the matter and directed the federal and the provincial governments to pay compensation to the victims within one month and submit a compliance report with the registrar of the court.
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2019